Persist May 2023 Highlights

Persist may Cycle Highlights

Persist is starting a new training cycle next week! So here’s an overview of what’s coming up in the training program, and an update on how I’m approaching my own training to keep injuries away and focus on muscle mass and functional strength.

Which track do you like best?

When people ask me this it’s like asking which of my kids is my favorite. Not possible to choose! They all have such unique perspectives. Fortunately, they’re all included with the program, so you can try them all.


PUMP emphasizes building muscle and sculpting your physique. If you still want to get your cardio in, dont worry. PUMP doesnt neglect work capacity. We curate the best conditioning formats to complement your muscle gains.

Perform - get athletic

PERFORM emphasizes lifting and conditioning performance. The goal is to guide you thoughtfully to increase your strength numbers and conditioning output. Improve your PRs, learn new skills, and build that VO2 max. All while balancing your joint strength and improving your mobility and range of motion. We also teach you how to pace yourself better so you dont burn yourself out.


PILLARS is where we blend the concepts from PUMP and PERFORM. The goal is to deliver all the foundations of Functional Bodybuilding in a very precise 60min workout session. Each day in PILLARS features the training elements that we believe to be the Pillars” of FBB. A thoughtful warm-up, strength intensity, strength balance, and conditioning. We will leave you with a short recovery/cool down to wrap your day in under an hour.


During the pandemic, it was a game changer to train with minimal equipment, just about anywhere. And guess what – life is still uncertain, unpredictable, or leaves you tight on time.

The problem with most minimal equipment programs is theyre not very thoughtful. They just ask for you to do endless burpees and squats every single day. Not with FBB. Each training cycle we deliver the best FBB has to offer with limited equipment options. Expect to see workouts from PUMP, PILLARS, and PERFORM, all thoughtfully planned. They are adapted to a 5 day/week schedule with not much more than a set of dumbbells, or even

How I’m Training These Days

Since February, Ive exclusively been following PUMP. In late January, I was pushing my training fairly hard, combining aspects of PERFORM and PUMP together. I was really grinding out hypertrophy methods as well as pushing my Oly Lifts and metcons hard. Let me be honest, I was biting off more than I should have been. Yes, it happens to me too. I was having fun and got caught up in the training. Then suddenly, an old achy shoulder that Ive felt 100s of times in the past, turned into a pain that stopped me in my tracks.

A couple of weeks off was required to let the inflammation calm down. Then a few more weeks of focused mobility work, physical therapy, and recovery practices helped get me back to being able to train my full body.

But getting out of pain and being able to push in training fully isnt an on/off switch. It is like a dimmer switch instead. Once you are out of pain, you can turn the dimmer just high enough to see some light. You still have a long way to go before youre back at full brightness.

Back in 2016, I was recovering from a similar shoulder injury (and my entire CrossFit career). I learned that slow and controlled strength training is the best way to bridge the gap between just coming out of pain and full strength. 

You have to develop slow controlled strength, under stable loads, for your brain and muscles to productively coordinate around injuries. Injuries jack up the wiring of our brains and muscles, so we need to start slow to get things working. 

PUMP is the perfect place to do that. The focus on both STRENGTH Intensity and Balance under stable loads, with controlled tempos, for moderate to higher reps, is perfect for this. It also just so happens to be the proven method for muscle hypertrophy and building a lean physique. I certainly ain’t mad about either of those.

So I have been fully dedicated to PUMP in these last 3 months. Each week my shoulder has felt progressively better, and Im able to bring more and more intensity and effort to my training safely. Ive even gone so far as to swap out some of the PUMP conditioning workouts in favor of even more strength work to build muscle and strength. And since Im still walking 15k steps a day and doing plenty of timed supersets, Im getting my cardio and aerobic work in.

Ill be back to doing Functional Pump Conditioning in the future. But for now Im really valuing that PUMP is not only making me feel great, but Im looking great, feeling connected to my diet in a great way, and seeing my strength improve all around.

What’s Ahead in Each Track

The new training cycle begins on Monday, May 15th and for you long-time members, here are some things Im particularly excited about with each of the training tracks. Our Persist Testing Group loved these elements as well:

PUMP Training Split

  • Monday – Upper Body Push-Pull – Bench Press, Chest Fly, and Row Strength Focus
  • Tuesday – Lower Body Posterior Chain Biased – Sumo Deadlift, Banded Deadlift, and Hamstring Strength Focus + Core Finisher
  • Wednesday – Arms and Shoulders – Pressing Overhead and Tricep/Bicep SuperSets
  • Friday – Upper Body Back, Shoulders, and Triceps – Heavy Rows, Pull Ups, and Shoulder/Tricep Isolation Strength Focus
  • Saturday – Lower Body Quad Biased – Front Squat and Split Squat Strength Focus w/ Core Finisher

PUMP Training Format Highlights

  • High Rep Chest Focus – Strength Intensity and Strength Balance movements dedicated to a higher rep chest PUMP
  • Banded Deadlifts – Every other week performing higher rep banded deadlifts to safely blast the posterior chain.
  • Reverse Pyramid Wednesday – Shoulder and Tricep focused lifts with this rep/set format to drive intensity starting in Week 1
  • Band Assist Friday – Everyone uses bands for pull ups on Friday to get a better focused lat contraction and build more Time Under Tension
  • Metabolic Stress LATS/TRAPS Finisher Friday – 5mins worth of light tension MAX REP work to overload the shoulders and back at the end of the session. Get ready for a SHRUG PUMP.

PERFORM Training Split

  • Monday – Lower Body – Back Squat & Single Leg Strength Focus
  • Tuesday – Upper Body – Overhead Split Jerk Skill/Strength + Pull-Up Strength Focus
  • Wednesday – Full Body – POWER 60 Format w/ Hang Power Clean and Sumo Deadlift Strength Focus
  • Friday – Lower Body – Hang Full Snatch, Front Squat, Landmine Hinge Strength Focus
  • Saturday – Upper Body – Dumbbell Bench, Rows, and Rear Delt Strength Focus

PERFORM Training Format Highlights

  • Monday Intensity Interval AMRAPs – 5min Countdown timers with challenging tasks.
  • Tuesday Split Jerk Skills Progressions – Jerk Balance and Split Jerk skill work.
  • Wednesday Power 60 – The entire session formatted to fit a 60min clock. Challenging you to combine a lot of work in a short time.
  • Friday % Snatch and Front Squat Builds – Precise % loading recommendations to build these two key lifts.
  • Friday Shoulder Intensive Grinder – Bringing back the Turkish Get Up in the context of conditioning sessions.
  • Saturday Gymnastics Focused EMOMs – Work your Pull Up and Dip endurance with these EMOM conditioning sets.

PILLARS Training Split

  • Monday – Upper Body – Incline Bench Press and Supinated Barbell Row Strength Focus
  • Tuesday – Lower Body – Sumo Deadlifts with Bands for Strength Focus
  • Thursday – Hinge & Push – Split Squat and Pull Up Strength Focus
  • Friday – Squat & Pull – Landmine Romanian Deadlifts and Dumbbell Chest Press Strength Focus

PILLARS Training Format Highlights

  • Monday Sprint Core Finisher – EMOM style SPRINTS with cardio tools and core isolation exercises
  • Tuesday Shoulder Intensive Grinder – Bringing back the Turkish Get Up in the context of conditioning sessions.
  • Friday Fatigued Abdominals – The classic format from PUMP with a hinging twist to it.
  • Friday Strength Balance Finisher – Our traditional Strength Balance work placed at the end of the session to focus on the arms and shoulders to finish out the week.

How Will You Decide?

I encourage you to think about what training track is best suited to your lifestyle and goals right now. These change throughout the year and throughout our life. 

Last year at this time I was more interested in hitting PERFORM workouts. However, in the past 3 months Ive felt much more connected to PUMP. 

Do you want a bit more of a hypertrophy focus? Are you coming off the CrossFit OPEN feeling inspired to keep working on your performance with PERFORM? Or is this a busy time of the year where 60-min sessions 4x/week with all the foundations of FBB included make the most sense and in that case, PILLARS is calling to you?

If you havent considered PUMP before then I would encourage you to come and experience it with me and many others. It is our most popular training track for good reason. 

Building muscle and strength through hypertrophy style lifting can profoundly impact your health and aesthetic. Many people have yet to experience how a thoughtfully crafted lifting program like PUMP can really increase their metabolism through weight training, while also maintaining and building their aerobic system too. Challenging metcons and interval training isnt the only way to achieve great strength, capacity, and aesthetics.

Ill be back Friday with a couple of sample training days. Ill mix and match some of the training format highlights so you can get excited about what is ahead for these next 6 weeks.


Continuing with something I started back in April, I’m going to present to you a Mash Up workout for each of the training tracks that combine a few training pieces from different days of the week into a single full-body day.

The purpose of this is two fold. The first is to get a glimpse of what the training cycle ahead is going to include. The second is to give any of you ready to TRY a Persist Workout today a chance to go and do just that. Pick the track that excites you the most.

  • PERFORM – Get Athletic
  • PUMP – Build Muscle
  • PILLARS – FBB Foundations in 60mins

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you for the start of our training cycle on Monday!

Perform Mash Up

A. Core Conditioning Hot Start

Every 3-3:30 x 4-5 Sets
Bike 600-1000m
15 GHD Sit Ups or 15 Anchored Feet Sit Ups

  • Aim to finisher each set around the 2:30 mark. If you are going a little slower you can extend your interval to 3:30. But Ideally this is 2:30 of work and beginning a new set each 3:00.

B. Speed Strength Split Jerk

Part 1
Jerk Warmup Sequence:
Press in Split x 5 reps; 3 sets @ RPE 6
45-75sec rest between sets

Part 2
3 Sets
3 Push Press
1 Split Jerk (Pause for 1-2 seconds when you catch in the Split)
rest 90 sec between sets
*building to RPE 7/10

C. Strength Balance Giant Set

3 Sets

  1. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press @ 30X0 x 6-8reps
    rest 30sec
  2. Single Arm Ring Row @ 30X0 x 6-8reps/arm
    rest 30sec
  3. Incline Bench Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly @ 30X0 x 10-12reps
    rest 60sec and begin your next set

D. AMRAP Conditioning

5 min AMRAP
3 Rounds
8-12 Cal Row
8-12 Burpee Over Rower
*in the remaining time
Alternating Front Rack Reverse Lunge (from rack or floor) 135/95lbs

rest 2mins x 2

Pump Mash Up

A. Bulletproofing Pre-Fatigue

2 Sets:
5-10 Nordic Hamstring Curl Negatives (slow down)
20 Clamshell Side Plank Hip Thrust/side
30sec Tuck Hang

B. Banded and Unilateral Strength Intensity

Part 1
Banded Conventional Deadlift
Warm-Up Set 1 – 10 reps Light
Warm-Up Set 2 – 10 reps @ 3-4 RPE + Every 2:30 x 4 Sets
Set 1 – 10 reps @ 21X0 reps RPE 5/10
Set 2 – 10 reps @ 21X0 reps RPE 6/10
Set 3 – 10 reps @ 21X0 reps RPE 7/10
Set 4 – 10 reps @ 21X0 reps RPE 8/10

Part 2
Every 75sec x 6 sets
1st – Right Leg Suitcase Curtsy Drop Lunge @ 20X0 x 8-10reps
2nd – Left Leg Suitcase Curtsy Drop Lunge @ 20X0 x 8-10reps  *Use a 4-6″ height for the drop

C. Band Assisted Strength Balance

Every 90sec x 8 sets
1st – Band Assisted Pronated Pull Up @ 31X0 x 8-10reps
2nd – Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise @ 30X1 x 8-10reps

D. Pump Finisher

Max Reps in 5mins
2:30 – Incline Bench Dumbbell Upright Row 20/10lbs
Rest 30sec
2:30 – Dumbbell Pull Over 30/20lbs

Muscle Focus – Lats and Traps

Pillars Mash Up

A. Strength Intensity Timed SuperSet

Every 75sec x 12 Sets (4 per exercise)
1st – Single Leg Landmine RDL Right @ 20X0 x 10-12reps
2nd – Single Leg Landmine RDL Left @ 20X0 x 10-12reps
3rd – Glute Bridge Dumbbell Floor Press @ 20X0 x 8-12reps

RPE – Build weight with each set and aim to complete your last 1-2 sets on each exercise at 7/10 RPE

B. Extended Leg Conditioning

For Time 20-15-10-5-5-10-15-20
Thruster 65/45lbs
Supinated Grip Pendlay Row 65/45lbs
*After each round, 5 Box Jump Over 30/24″
*15min Time Cap

C. Strength Balance ARM PUMP Finisher

Every 3:00-3:30 x 3 Sets
10-14reps Barbell Reverse Bicep Curl or EZ Bar Reverse Bicep Curl @ 20X0 rest 15-30sec
10-14reps Inverted Skull Crusher @ 20X0
rest until the next 3:00 or 3:30 mark and begin the next set

try our start here workshop

Are you new to Functional Bodybuilding and not sure where to begin? Our new Start here Workshop will introduce you to concepts you’ll find in our programs over two weeks, so you can learn as you go.

Time: Each workout takes approximately 40–60 minutes to complete, including warmup, strength, and conditioning, and building in time as you go. There are 4 workouts per week, or you can space them out more if you need to. Pick whatever schedule works for you.

Equipment: Our programs are primarily designed for a functional fitness facility or home gym, but we’ve also included options for commercial gyms with machines. You are welcome to substitute what you have access to.

new cycle starts mon. may 15th!

Get started today by signing up for your 2 week free trial. Get access to all four tracks of Persist to find what works for you, your goals, and your lifestyle. Click the link below to get started!

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